There’s no denying that a personal touch can go a long way when it comes to turning a new website visitor into a loyal customer.
In fact, Acquia recently reported that 85% of marketers say “a human touch is always needed, in addition to technology, for a positive customer experience”. And according to Instapage, 80% of shoppers say they are more likely to buy from a company that offers them a personalised experience.
But what if you don’t have the resources to have live agents always on hand for your customers? That’s where chatbots come into play.
In many ways, chatbots have come as a real gift to both businesses and customers. They’re cost-effective, much faster than emails, and far more convenient than waiting on hold on the phone. Plus, according to one report by IBM, chatbots can successfully answer up to 80% of your customers’ routine questions!
Today, we’ll be exploring some of the biggest benefits of using chatbots online - and some of the scenarios where they can really come in handy. We’ll also be taking a look at some helpful chatbot alternatives - for those moments when a bot just can’t quite cut it for your customers!
Without further ado, here are the top 5 scenarios where a chatbot might be just what you need:
Chatbot example #1: Help customers find products quickly on your site
One of the best ways to up conversions on your site is to guide your customers along their journey to purchase. Lidl’s ‘Winebot’, Margot, does just that.
People browsing Lidl’s wines can get guidance on which bottle to buy, tips on food pairing, and even learn about how wine is made! Margot the Winebot can even recommend over 220 food pairings and answer questions based on 640 different types of grapes.
Chatbot example #2: Assist customers with bookings and purchases
Of course, your site should always be designed with usability and easy navigation in mind. But if you can make it even easier to book or purchase on your site - why would you not?
Having a handy chatbot in place to get your visitors to where they want to be is an easy way to boost your site’s usability, engagement and conversion rate.
This has proven to be especially useful in the travel sector. For example, Hipmunk’s chatbot helped simplify the travel booking process for new customers, giving them recommendations and tips along the way:
And even in the banking sector, chatbots are helping to simplify complex processes for customers.
Just take a look at Erica, the Bank of America’s new virtual financial assistant. Erica provides bank balance information, makes budgeting suggestions, helps customers pay bills and assists users with simple transactions. This banking chatbot has already surpassed over 7 million users, and completed over 50 million transactions to date:
Chatbot example #3: Provide a more fun and stand-out user experience
No matter which sector your business is in, if you want to get ahead of the competition, you have to set yourself apart from it!
Chatbots can be a fun way to stand out from the crowd by providing customers with a unique and unforgettable UX.
Just take a look at the success of Bud Light’s ‘Bud Bot’, which the company introduced during the 2017 NFL season.
The beer giant’s Bud Bot reminded subscribers to stock the fridge on game day, sent out special team cans, and even delivered beer (in under an hour!) on game days. Want proof that Bud Bot was effective? According to Bud Light, their chatbot had an engagement rate of 83% across the season!
Chatbot example #4: Conduct customer surveys and questionnaires
Asking your visitors questions via a conversational chatbot isn’t just a great way to collect data about potential new customers - it’s also a fantastic opportunity to enter customers into your sales funnel, engaging them with fun questions and leading them to opt into a subscription to your business’ Marketing emails.
Civilized Caveman was one of the first companies to use a Facebook Messenger bot quiz. By encouraging users to take their one-minute ‘sugar quiz’, they were able to build a relationship with new subscribers by following up with more engaging content and personalised offerings:
Chatbot example #5: Promote new products and campaigns
Last - but certainly not least - chatbots are a great way to generate buzz around new campaigns and products.
For example, to help promote their new show ‘Genius’, National Geographic created a conversational chatbot who spoke just like Albert Einstein would have. This Einstein bot answered users’ random questions, made them laugh, told them interesting facts and provided information about the upcoming show:
Ultimately, National Geographic’s funny, endearing mad scientist bot helped boost the company’s engagement, generated buzz around the show by making multiple headlines, and encouraged people to laugh and view the company in a whole new light.
Now that we’ve taken a look at when to install a chatbot online, let’s explore something equally as important: when not to use a chatbot!
As we discussed in our recent piece on the limitations of chatbots, the main problem with installing a chatbot to your site is that they lack a human touch. As chatbots rely on a simple set of algorithms, they are prone to misinterpreting customers’ questions, providing unhelpful responses or simply not being programmed to know what to say.
In fact, in Helpshift’s study of internet users in the USA, 48% of respondents associated chatbots with unhelpful responses, with many complaining that bots often redirect to self-serve FAQs.
In this same study, more than half of US respondents stated that they disliked how chatbots keep them from speaking with a real person.
Here are some of the chatbot alternatives we recommend to help you sidestep these limitations:
- Try live chat:
With live chat, a real customer support agent can speak with your customers and find out just what they need.
It may still not be as five-star a service as a live phone call, but with a live agent online to answer questions personally, there is far less risk of a customer being misinterpreted or given an unhelpful response.
- Have you considered voice bots?
Voice bots are voice-powered user interfaces that can understand natural language and use it to converse with people over the phone. Simply put, they are computers that can speak like people, helping you give your company a voice even when your agents can’t be there to help.
If you’re finding that your callers are regularly waiting for more than 12 seconds on hold in a queue, you can always split them into a ‘voice bot’ group and a ‘live agent’ group. Identify where human intervention is necessary (e.g. when a customer is a VIP or especially upset) and where bots can perform tasks faster (e.g. answering simple FAQs), then prioritise accordingly!
- Why not try voice messaging for websites?
With our voice recording and messaging platform, you can install fully customisable voice recorder buttons onto your website or store. Your customers can then send you voice notes directly into your voice inbox, which you can respond to personally with your own voice note.
This allows you to engage your website’s visitors in real, human conversation - while still enjoying all of the ease, convenience and speed of a chatbot service.
Bot or not?
Now that we’ve explored exactly when a chatbot might come in handy - and when it might be best to have one of your agents help out - it’s time to start refining your own communications strategy.
At telbee, we believe the bottom line is that a chatbot is the most cost-effective solution in a variety of different situations. However, there are some interactions that you just can’t automate, and going the extra mile to deliver a personal touch can often make all the difference to your customers.
For a truly well-rounded customer support strategy, you need to combine the convenience and speed of chatbots and instant messaging with the human touch of a face-to-face meeting or a phone call. Luckily, as voice messaging technologies continue to evolve in 2020, it’s never been easier to do just that!
Ultimately, you should ensure that your customers have options, and can speak with you in whichever way feels easiest and most natural for them.
Some days, that could well mean getting a quick answer from a chatbot. But on other days, it may be far more appropriate to engage your customers by voice, where you can discuss complex or sensitive issues in a lot more detail.
Give your customers the chance to choose how they want to be heard - and spoken to - and they’ll come away from every conversation with you feeling satisfied, valued and understood.
To find out more about how our online voice recording and messaging platform could supplement your business’ existing customer support strategy, create your own personalised voice recorder for free or get in touch with telbee today!